Greece Tourist Arrivals Up in January-October, On Track to End 2015 with Record Number. Slight Drop On Crete

International visitor arrivals by air in Greece have posted a 5.7 percent increase in the first 10 months of 2015 with almost 15 million visitors, according to data available from all major airports.

The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) released the data on Wednesday and reported that 14.9 million foreign nationals arrived in the country by air from January to October this year, which is 809,000 additional arrivals compared to 2014.

Athens saw arrival numbers grow by 23.6 percent during the January-October 2015 period. In October alone, Athens saw arrivals rise 5.4 percent compared with the same month of 2014.

The Cyclades island complex also continued its upward trend in tourist arrivals by air and saw a 30.4 percent rise in October and a 15 percent increase over the January-October 2014 period. On the other hand, the Dodecanese and Crete continued to record a slight drop in arrivals by 2 percent and 0.8 percent respectively, compared with the same period of 2014.

The data showed that the whole country — not including Athens — moved on a 4 percent negative rate in terms of foreign arrivals by air compared to October 2014 and a marginal growth rate of 0.8 percent compared to the first ten months of 2014.

According to recent data from the Bank of Greece (BoG), the country’s tourism sector has increased revenue by 45 percent in the last five years, adding six points to Greece’s GDP and contributing to both employment and to the development of local economies.

SETE estimates that despite changes observed in October in regards to air arrivals, Greek tourism is on track to end 2015 with a record of 26 million international arrivals.

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